A future full of hope for Murra and her family!

Murra is a mother to 9 children. In 2017 she was chosen by her village to receive support through the Kids for Kids projects. She received 5 goats as part of the goat loan programme, a donkey to help transport water and till the land and also 2 blankets and mosquito nets to protect her children from cold nights and insect-borne diseases.

This is just part of the package that Kids for Kids provides to many families in need.  People are so poor they cannot afford even basic essentials.  Kids for Kids makes sure individual families have proper farm tools, an essential when people eat what they grow.   But it doesn’t stop there.   Kids for Kids helps the whole community long term by providing both health care for the people and veterinary care for the animals.   Water is key, and wherever possible Kids for Kids funds handpumps and other water projects.

Four years after Kids for Kids adopted her village, Murra’s goat herd has grown to 23 animals. Her children are growing up healthy and strong because of the milk from the goats and the good news doesn’t end there – as a result of being given a donkey, Murra was able to make use of a donkey plough provided for Murra and two other women. She was able to cultivate three acres of land, growing two sacks of millet, a sack of groundnuts and also six sack loads of hay for her animals.

Murra and her family are expecting an even bigger harvest this year, as they were able to farm 5 acres plus they are growing melons and okra!

This is what Kids for Kids is all about – supporting children, women and their families to create a future that is teeming with hope and opportunities. By providing such simple but powerful projects, families and whole communities are able to build a better life for themselves – this is what life should be like for all people in Darfur!

Murra’s story is just one of the hundreds of success stories that Kids for Kids has witnessed over our 20 years – but we are only able to carry out such important work because of our generous supporters. We are only able to reach out to people like Murra because of the support from people like you!

Murra is looking forward to the future and now with a better harvest and money earned from selling goats milk and yoghurt, she is planning on sending her children to school!

There are hundreds of more mothers like Murra who deserve our help and support to give them the opportunities to raise themselves and their families out of poverty.

Are you able to help more mothers and girls earn a brighter future?

You can read more about the Kids for Kids range of sustainable projects here: https://www.kidsforkids.org.uk/what-we-do-projects/

Healing the Desert with Trees!

Darfur is in the Sahel region of Africa which is particularly vulnerable to climate change and according to the UN, the temperature in this region is expected to rise by between 3⁰C and 5⁰C. These warmer temperatures lead to a degradation of the land and an increase in desertification resulting in the desert encroaching into agricultural land. Climate change also impacts the length and timings of seasons, therefore, having a negative effect on crop growth, leading to food insecurity in the area.

The people here bear the brunt of the whole planet’s carbon emissions.

However, a big part of Kids for Kids’ range of sustainable projects that improve the lives of children in Darfur, Sudan, is our climate change project.

One of the easiest and simplest ways to prevent desertification and land degradation is to stabilise the soil. Planting trees and plants increases the soil moisture in the area, stabilises the soil.  It has also been scientifically proven that planting trees helps to form a microclimate in the immediate vicinity of the trees by reducing the air temperature. Lowering the temperature of the soil means that more moisture remains within the ground creating a better and more fertile environment for growing crops, the basis of people’s income and diet in the villages of Darfur.

The people here are subsistence farmers meaning that caring for the land is of paramount importance as they eat what they grow.

We want to create a community forest in each of the Kids for Kids villages to counteract the effects of climate change. We will purchase and grow seedlings of various trees that are native and drought-resistant with many of the species providing shade and fruit or other bi-products that the communities can use to earn an income, such as oil from the Neem tree, the leaves, fruit and seeds from the Baobab and the seeds of the Moringa tree can be used to filter water!

Because many smallholder, rural farmers depend on subsistence for their livelihoods we believe that focusing on alleviating the effects of climate change, environmental degradation, and desert encroachment protects these farmers and their communities from current and future vulnerabilities.

A community forest is just the start of our work on tackling the effects of climate in the area – we want to teach children the importance of the forests, so they grow up to nurture the wildlife and help it grow and expand. This will be the legacy of Kids for Kids and we hope that the children of the future will continue in the guardianship of the trees in their community.

Will you help us in our mission to Heal the Desert with Trees?

Next week from the 19th to the 23rd April, we are participating in Global Giving’s Climate Action Campaign where all donation up to £70 will be matched by 100%!

Or you can donate directly to our climate change projects here: https://www.kidsforkids.org.uk/product/trees-for-climate-change/

 

 

 

Midwives fight Covid-19 in Darfur, Sudan.

The situation in Sudan is still desperate. Inflation is still soaring and is now at an all-time high of over 350%. Life is hard for the people in Darfur, as food prices continue to soar so does the level of hunger – our help has never been needed more. To add to this, Covid-19 is still ravaging the country.

Village Midwives and First-Aid workers that have been trained thanks to you, our loyal and generous donors, are on the frontline helping to tackle the virus and the challenges it brings to each community.

Kids for Kids Project Officer Hassan Mehisi says ‘The situation in many villages is very hard and life is difficult. Our Midwives and First-Aid workers play an enormous role in fighting the pandemic, they help villagers tackle the enormous challenges of addressing the health impact of Covid-19’.

Our Midwives and First-Aid workers are delivering babies and providing support despite the threat of Covid-19 – helping to provide advice and educate new mothers and their families on how to protect themselves – there is no access to healthcare in villages – the Midwives and First-Aid workers we train are very much pioneers doing a fantastic job miles away from any support or hospital. 

You can support mothers and babies by helping to train more Midwives and First-Aid workers – these are the Florence Nightingales of Darfur – a beacon of light and comfort in the most desperate of times.

It costs Kids for Kids £2,000 to train a Village Midwife and to provide her with a smart white tobe (sari uniform) and leather sandals. Incidentally, leather sandals are a status symbol in Darfur!  If you would like to contribute to the training of a Village Midwife please donate the amount you choose and we will add it to our Midwife Fund. We also fund the equipment for both our Village Midwives and First Aid Workers, plus a fast and strong crossbred donkey so they can travel more easily between the villages.  It is important too to make sure there is a solar lantern so that mothers will not give birth by the flickering light of a fire. There is no electricity in villages.

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Will you help us bring healthcare in the form of Village Midwives and First Aid Workers to the many villages that are in need?

Your donation today will help save lives!

You can read more about our healthcare projects here: https://www.kidsforkids.org.uk/what-we-do-midwives-healthcare/

Children’s Shepherds’ Committees – Kids looking after Kids!

Animal Welfare is very important to Kids for Kids and in every one of our villages, even the children are trained to look after the goats and donkeys!

The Children’s Shepherd Committee are taught to look for injury or disease in all of the villages animals, making sure they have the right food to eat and enough water to drink!

The committees are made up of both girls and boys and members are chosen by the whole community and they work closely with the Kids for Kids team in Sudan reporting any sick or unwell animals.

The children grow up having the knowledge to give their animals the best life and also gain important skills that will help them in their adult life!

Isn’t it lovely to think that every Friday morning – the first day of the weekend in Darfur – our Children’s Shepherds’ Committees in every Kids for Kids’ village inspect every animal in the village to see if they are alright.   Children are really observant.  We train them – teaching them the signs to look for.   Hair coming out means too little water.   When the herd stands up, ones that are slow need checking.  And of course, we teach them which plants are poisonous.  When animals are hungry, and especially goats, they can eat things that can kill them.

We reward our little shepherds in each village when we have our review meetings each year.   Can you imagine how proud they are?

If you would like to know more about the Kids for Kids projects visit: https://www.kidsforkids.org.uk/what-we-do-projects/

 

Celebrating 6 new villages for our Birthday Year!

Kids for Kids is celebrating the incredible news that we are adopting 6 new villages in North Darfur, Sudan in our 20th Year.

Gawhir, Hillat Anass, Hillat Hashab, Maagila, Tartoura Birket Jaro and Taitel will be part of the Kids for Kids family in which our sustainable projects will change the lives of over 1100 families and 3700 children – giving hope for the future in these most desperate of times.

Whilst we aim to adopt new villages every year, the uncertainty due to Covid-19 as well as crippling inflation in Sudan which is now over 350%, the prospect of offering support and then falling short meant that we were facing this year being the first in our 20-year history of not providing help to villages in need.

Amongst the villages chosen, the circumstances vary with 3 of the villages’ nearest water supplies being 12km away, meaning a daily 24 km round trip for children and women to collect enough water for family and livestock alike, a trek that will take many hours in the blistering heat of the Sudanese sun. Whilst some villages may have access to water none has access to any healthcare for humans or their animals.  Few have any education at all for younger children, and older children frequently walk 10 miles to reach a rudimentary schools.   These are struggles the people of Darfur go through that we take for granted every day!

However, this is about to change with Kids for Kids working with the six new communities themselves to implement our range of sustainable projects of which the goat loans are key. A family chosen by their village will receive 5 nanny goats that will provide nutritious milk to feed hungry children and turn their health around. Excess milk can also be sold to earn an income – giving a family hope for the future. Other projects include installation of water pumps and water carts, training midwives to deliver healthy and happy babies, the training of first aid workers and paravets but also building kindergartens to give children an education – a direct route out of a life of poverty.

Kids for Kids’ Founder and CEO Patricia Parker says “The most heart-breaking issue is that all the villages chosen have suffered the death of at least one child in the past year, mainly due to Malaria – this is totally unacceptable in this day and age and providing blankets and mosquito nets to families is one of the first things we do when supporting a village, protecting children from insect-borne diseases.”

“The number of requests from villages asking for our help has never been greater and whilst we are aware that we are unable to help everyone it doesn’t make the decision any easier – behind each village application are struggling families and hungry children, but for these new villages, we will turn this around and provide opportunities which could only be achieved because of the generosity of Kids for Kids supporters!”

Over the 20 years of the Charity, Kids for Kids has supported 106 villages and helped over 550,000 people – but there are still hundreds more villages, thousands more children who are in need.

This year Kids for Kids are asking people to take on a Challenge20 to raise funds and have fun!

 

What will your Challenge20 be? Hiking 20 miles? Running 20 marathons? Baking 20 cakes?

This challenge is all YOU!!

For more ideas and inspiration, click here.

20th Birthday – but is it a time to celebrate?

Kids for Kids celebrates 20 years of helping the forgotten children of Darfur on 8th March this year – two decades in which we have transformed the lives of over 550,000 people in 105 villages in one of the most inaccessible places in the world. A journey that started with a young boy’s seven-hour walk for water across the deserts of Darfur, to a handpump miles from his home.

Whilst this may seem like a time to celebrate, it is a stark reminder that in Darfur our help is still needed. There are still young children and families with no access to clean, fresh water.

The situation in Darfur is still desperate, inflation has skyrocketed to over 250% and is still rising.

This has put our projects at risk – the cost of implementing our key projects has jumped massively. The need for water has always been a necessity but since the arrival of covid-19 into Darfur, the only way communities can protect themselves is by washing their hands. This means that families need more water than ever to keep their families safe. If there are no water pumps locally this means that more journeys for water are needed – either that or forego the only protection that they have against the virus.

Our team on the ground in Darfur has said that our water projects are falling behind schedule. This is due to the cost of installing water pumps increasing day by day. Some of our villages that we adopted in 2017 were due to have their water pumps installed last year – however, work has slowed as materials, transport costs and labour have all increased astronomically.

The current economic climate in Sudan and the uncertainty of costs has meant that Kids for Kids has had to hold off promising new water pumps to villages in case we cannot deliver – access to fresh clean water should be a given in the 21st century but unfortunately, that’s not the case in many areas of Darfur.

Whilst we will celebrate the change that Kids for Kids has brought about for so many people over the past 20 years – we will remain steadfast in our support for the people of Darfur but we can only do this with your help.

Please will you support Kids for Kids so we can carry on improving the lives of children now and for the children of the future?

To donate to our water projects visit: https://www.kidsforkids.org.uk/shop/donations/water-projects/

Appeal for Help as Floods Strike Darfur and Inflation Soars

The people of Darfur are struggling to feed their families as food prices soar. The Sudanese economy is in crisis, with inflation increasing from 144% in July to a massive 167% in August.   The Sudanese Government has declared an economic state of emergency.

Soaring prices mean that people in Darfur are unable to afford to buy basic staples to feed their families. At the same time recent floods have washed away thousands of homes, leaving people homeless. All deliveries to the area are disrupted.   The hardship families are facing every day is unimaginable.

 Picture of a Mother and child in Darfur
Mothers are unable to afford food leaving children at risk.

Widespread flooding means that moquitoes are breeding frighteningly fast so that malaria is on the rise. Children already suffering from malnutrition are even more at risk – the situation is becoming more dire every day. Meanwhile, as in the rest of the world, COVID-19 continues to spread.

Picture of children in Darfur - Kids for Kids
Children are as risk of malnutrition and malaria due to flourishing mosquitoes.

We are calling on our supporters to help by donating to Kids to Kids to support families through this difficult time.

Donate now for the greatest need and your donation will be used where it is most needed in Darfur today!

Alternatively:

Text FLOOD 5 or FLOOD 10 to 70470 to donate £5 or £10 to provide soap and mosquito nets.

Texts cost £5 or £10 plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via telephone and SMS. If you’d like to give £5 or £10 but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text FLOODNOINFO 5 or FLOODNOINFO 10 to 70470.

Fires Devastate Darfur Villages – Help Needed!

Last week (27th April) there was a massive fire that swept across Um Hagalig, a desperately poor village which we adopted in 2007. People have lost everything.  150 huts were burned to the ground, over 160 goats and 16 donkeys were killed.  Much of the village is totally destroyed. Fires are a major hazard in Darfur at this time of year because everything is tinder dry – and the huts and the fences are made of straw.  Once a fire takes hold, all people can do is to run for their lives.  It is a miracle that only one person died.  But this is not the only fire  – in Afein Village two families lost everything, in Majoub A – which I visited so happily in February – 22 families are now homeless and in Fardal, three families are in need of help.   On May 7th we were informed of a fifth fire in Um Oshra Village which has burned 61 huts to the ground – and the primary school.  Kids for Kids adopted Um Oshra in 2008, and they had been doing so much better, with brick walls to their houses and a new primary school. Families in all villages affected have lost all their possessions, their savings and their animals – it is heartbreaking.  And there is no one to help them – except us.

Please will you help us help families who have been left with nothing?

It is hard to take in the news of another tragedy on top of all that is devastating people’s lives in Darfur right now. As we feared, the first COVID-19 cases have now been identified in Darfur. When I returned from Sudan in February my fear was starvation for children – already they were only having two sparse meals. As the heat increases to over 50 degrees and the walk for water becomes longer and longer, it was starvation that I was going to appeal for you to help me with.  Then the virus had become the urgency – and I knew that soap had to be top of the list – if only I could provide everything.   To think now of the despair of the families.  It is just impossible to imagine what families in these five villages must be going through as they deal with this recent blow. We are very sorry to share that the fire has killed one person, a 65 year old woman named Maryam in Um Hagalig Village, who had worked to help her community for years. Our thoughts are with Maryam’s family, and everyone in Um Hagalig, Afein, Majoub A, and Fardal villages at this time.

Every two years, since Kids for Kids adopted Um Hagalig Village in 2007, families have passed on goats from the original Goat Loan so that more and more families have benefitted directly. Our Kids for Kids Steering Committee Chairman, Adam Sabil, immediately set off to visit the village as soon as we heard the news. The loss of animals in the fire is absolutely devastating for Kids for Kids –  but imagine what people must feel to know their animals, their often sole source of income, have perished.  People love their animals and it was because they keep them close at night – though there is no danger from wild animals in Darfur because of the loss of trees and vegetation – that so many died.  What hope do they have now?  Many families had saved up money from selling crops and milk and yoghurt at market, and been able to buy basic household goods, bed frames, and more. Extra cash would be hidden under their mattresses, burning up in the fire. Everything is gone now. With 150 huts destroyed in Um Hagalig alone, hundreds of people are left with nothing – no bed, no food, no jerrycans, and nowhere to go. 

“Adam has assessed the urgent need.  We will be providing goats, donkeys, a mattress, blankets, mosquito nets (the rains are desperately needed but they bring mosquitos, and malaria – the biggest killer, until the virus, in Darfur) cooking utensils and jerry cans.  All are urgently needed right now.  Please help by donating here.

It really puts in perspective how bad things are in Darfur. The whole world is dealing with COVID-19 but families living in dire poverty at the forefront of global warming, have it so much worse. Could you imagine a devastating fire right now, tearing down your house, where you are supposed to be isolating?  It is truly unimaginable. We have to help immediately. It just isn’t right.”

–  Patricia Parker MBE, Founder and CEO 

Kids for Kids is currently using funds raised to fund our Urgent Appeal for Soap for villages so people can wash properly and prevent COVID-19. We are also continuing to provide our long-term sustainable projects to all our villages at this time.  This means we need to raise more money, and urgently, to help families immediately who have been left with nothing. We are hoping to have a store in the future of urgently needed items so we can help even more quickly when disaster strikes. We have also ordered an investigation to find out how we can help villages with fire prevention going forward. In the meantime, please can you help us help families right now?

You can donate now to our ‘Rebuilding Um Hagalig’ Fund.  Anything you can give is so appreciated. Thank you.

DARFUR VISIT – AFTER 9 LONG YEARS ABSENCE

In February of this year Patricia Parker MBE, the Founder and CEO of Kids for Kids, visited Darfur for the first time in nine years. Due to the past Government we have been unable to get visas to enter Sudan since 2011, but because of the change in administration last year and ousting of President Bashir, we are now allowed back into the country. Our small team in Darfur are the reason we have been able to continue our projects in our existing villages, and adopt more every year. Today we are proud to have 100 Kids for Kids villages in Darfur where sustainable projects are helping people to transform their lives.

I would like to invite you to engage with our most recent news, hearing straight from Patricia about her trip to Darfur in ‘News from Darfur’ and learning exactly what Kids for Kids did with your donations in 2019, and our plans for 2020 here.  We have improved our Gift List for 2020, which includes details of all our sustainable projects. As Easter is coming up, we invite you to join in The Real Egg Project and make a real difference to the lives of the elderly living in rural villages by donating chickens. We have started a five year tree planting project in Darfur to ‘Combat Climate Change’, and here you can join us in reforesting the desert. And for other ways to support Kids for Kids, please consider becoming a Regular Giver or Children’s Champion – your support will change lives for years to come. Oh, and if you fancy a hand at winning the Lottery, what better Lottery than the Kids for Kids 100 Club where every ticket you purchase helps improve the lives of children living in extreme poverty in Darfur.

The documents mentioned are included in our 2020 Spring Mailing and Emailing. If you haven’t signed up already for our news mailings, then please get in touch. We only send two mailings a year, and we would love to include you!

2020 Spring Mailing Documents (all in one place!):

DARFUR – A YEAR IN CRISIS

This year, 2020, the children, families and villages in Darfur have been hit by one crisis after another.

They have suffered drought in the heat of summer, fires blazing through their homes and villages causing several fatalities and loss of livestock, and recently floods washing away their crops. Inflation is out of control.  

This is before we even consider the catastrophe that has been caused by COVID-19.

How are families supposed to survive? They desperately need our help!

Please do take a few minutes to engage with our most recent news, hearing straight from Patricia Parker MBE, Founder of Kids for Kids, how we are currently doing everything we can to help fight COVID-19 in ‘News from Darfur’ and learning exactly what Kids for Kids have planned for the future. With Christmas coming up, we invite you to Give a Tree – the perfect gift! – and suggest other wonderful ways for you to get involved and Help this Christmas.

The people of Darfur really do need us more than ever now. Please do consider becoming a Regular Giver or Childrens Champion or even Leaving a Lasting Legacy for Kids for Kids – your support will change lives for years to come.

Also if you fancy your chances of Winning the Lottery, what better Lottery than the Kids for Kids 100 Club where every ticket you purchase helps improve the lives of children living in extreme poverty in Darfur?   Give a ticket to a friend – a chance of winning all year.

The documents mentioned are included in our 2020 Christmas Mailing and Emailing. If you haven’t signed up already for our news mailings, then please get in touch. We only send two mailings a year, and we would love to include you!

2020 Christmas Mailing Documents (all in one place!):

 

Our Achievements – See What We Have Done in 12 Months

“We believe that you should know how we are helping, the difficulties we face, and what we have achieved, with your support.”

–  Patricia Parker MBE Founder and CEO of Kids for Kids

At the beginning of every calendar year we publish a complete list of the projects we carried out in Darfur during the previous 12 months. This allows our supporters to see what their donations have made possible in our now 100 villages.

In 2019 Sudan experienced a mass uprising of people crying for help for the very basics of life. Shortages, even of bread, made people despair.  General Omer Bashir, who held Sudan in an iron grip for 30 years, has been deposed. There is now a civilian Prime Minister, and he is calling for help for his country. Last year was one of the worst years we have known with soaring inflation, restrictions on access to our funds in the bank which has delayed projects, and a serious lack of fuel which has affected every single aspect of life across the entire country.

Despite all this, along with providing our sustainable projects to eight new villages – 14,278 men, women and children, plus supporting the 92 villages we have already adopted – we have launched our five-year Forest Tree Plantation Project. Over the course of five years we plan to plant 6,000 seedlings, rehabilitate three existing community forests and establishing two new community forests in Darfur, Sudan.

For details of what we did this year please read our 2019 Achievements. This document also details our plans for 2020, which include adopting five new villages where we will provide our full package of sustainable projects. More details of what we plan to accomplish this year will be added after February 18th when Patricia Parker returns from programme meetings in Darfur, Sudan – so stay tuned!

Thank you all, so much, for making all that we have accomplished possible. We will only promise help if we can be sure we have the funds needed so if you can support us by committing to give a regular set amount this year, you will allow us to plan ahead.  The support from our Children’s Champion and Regular Supporters is vital to our work. We hope that you will continue your incredible support in 2020, and encourage others to get involved!

Feel free to Contact Us with any questions or to express interest in supporting Kids for Kids in some way. We would love to hear from you.

Live from Sudan – February 2020

Patricia Parker MBE, Kids for Kids Founder and CEO, visited Sudan for the first time in nine year this February. Here we shared live updates from Patricia during her trip.

To read about everything Kids for Kids Accomplished in 2019 and our plans for 2020, please click here.

Patricia’s First Impressions of Darfur After Nine Years

Meeting Ibrahim Again – Wednesday 12th February

“There is so much to tell you – but I have to tell you some most exciting news first …. I met Ibrahim yesterday! He is the little 9 year old whose 7 hour walk across the desert inspired Kids for Kids and has improved the lives of over half a million people. He is tall, good looking – and shy. I met his wife and two of his three little children, his brother and sister – and his lovely mother Asma. It was her extraordinary generosity in offering me their only food – a bowl of goat’s milk – that made me realise we had to try to help. Ibrahim’s eldest is now at our first Kindergarten!  I met too Abdallah Salih who has taught himself English and sends me news astonishingly on FaceBook from their village Um Ga’al. It was my first visit for 17 years.

Meanwhile think of me tomorrow at our Workshop in El Fasher with members of the new Government, who too are determined to help their own people – how refreshing is that! – and, most importantly, representatives from our 100 villages.”

Interviews with Patricia Parker – Monday 10th February

 

Meetings – Monday 10th February

Visit to Dor Fazy Village – Sunday 9th February

Families greeting Patricia and the Kids for Kids team at Dor Fazy Village where the brand new health centre here has just been named for Robin Radclyffe, Patricia Parker’s partner who passed away suddenly last month. Robin was a huge part of the Kids for Kids team and we are happy we can dedicate the health centre to him, creating a lasting memorial in his name – a place that will provide essential and life-saving health services for families for years to come.

Field Visits to Abu Digeis, Majoub A, and Abu Sinait A – Saturday 8th February

 

Congratulating the excellent paravet Nassir for all his hard work looking after the health of the goats and donkeys, which keep the children healthy in Abu Digeis Village. He is exceptional as he also teaches others how to care for the animals, extending our reach beyond our own villages.

Here Nassir is proudly holding his Kids for Kids certificate!

 

 

 

“Our first field trip was grueling, exciting, nostalgic, familiar.  Alastair stayed behind because the FCO ruled it was dangerous – but they appear to treat the whole of Darfur as one. It’s vast. We drove fast bouncing across the tracks in the desert, only slowing for holes and bumps. We saw a big grey ground squirrel running fast and a large mouse with its mouth full. Little flocks of fast moving orange and red birds shot past the car. Abu Digeis was our first village, and met Nassir one of the wisest and best paravets!  We saw the kindergarten built well but needs paint and equipment. But the health centre is as I wanted it – beautiful paint and well kept. The first aid worker and midwives are very proud of their work. We went on to Majoub A where they are building a kindergarten. The community is so proud and the leader Abu Baker was prepared with a list of requests. The Forest was wonderful. Then off to see our first new village: Abu Sinait A where the needs are huge.”

– Patricia Parker MBE, Kids for Kids Founder and CEO

First Full Day in Darfur – Friday 7th February

“Awake in the middle of the night – such a day of emotions. Our first meeting in the Kids for Kids office and a banner ‘remembering Robin’ – and the years rolling back as we start on the first of many briefings about life in Darfur. For the first time in 19 years there is a feeling of freedom, relaxation, and hope. Hope at last.

Afterwards we headed off – back at last to the tree nursery. In 2007 it had been sand, a few empty seed beds and half a dozen trees at the edge. Look at it now. Thousands of tree seedlings grown there then transported to villages to turn them green too. My Demonstration Garden looks as if it has always been there. Do you see the shade ….. in a land turned to hot desert this is a dream for us all. Help us to plant trees. It is not too late. My giant baobab reaching high to the sky speaks for us all. Please give me another.”

Pictures below of Patricia visiting the El Fasher tree nursery that Kids for Kids completely renovated in 2007 – since then we have planted 53,000 trees across North Darfur!  Still going strong producing new seedlings – and a lot of shade. The baobab tree was re-introduced by Kids for Kids to North Darfur in 2007 . They are life-bringers, storing water in the trunks and using their seeds for tabaldi juice – great for blood pressure, and tens of other practical uses.

“Driving through El Fasher was as if the years had rolled back – hot sand, lovely light, the market beginning to come awake. At our little office at the back of the town the guard was an old friend. I felt a little like the queen – smell of new paint everywhere. As we waited for the meeting to start they quietly put up a huge poster commemorating Robin. He would have been in his element – but shocked and embarrassed to be honoured in this way.

Our first meeting could not have been more successful. Praise yes, thanks yes but also a great feeling of optimism with a new Government which has already declared itself determined to help people long term.

My notebook is full of ideas for further ways our help is needed already.  Our challenge is to try to convince people they can talk openly about the hardships they face. The previous Government did not want people to know the problems. We need to be able to find ways to help. Tomorrow we head out to make our first field trip in nine years.”

 

– Patricia Parker MBE, Kids for Kids Founder and CEO

We’re Back! – Thursday 6th February

“My little room in El Fasher. This is light years better than 9 years ago – but I’ve still taken the precaution of putting my universal plug across the hole in the floor. Please no visitors in the night!

Overwhelmed to be here again. Hatim tried to warn me that there might be people to welcome us – but I thought it would only be our wonderful Salim, Hassan and Adam, I had not expected all the ladies, lead by our darling Fowzia. Their messages of condolence were difficult to hear. Fowzia too had lost someone dear to her.

 I was so pleased to see our first supporter and volunteer Ibrahim Hamid HAC Commissioner after 9 long years – and then our old friend Mohammed Sidiq- now with the UN working on the environment and some of his former colleagues from Practical Action. It was so moving.   We’re home!”

– Patricia Parker MBE, Kids for Kids Founder and CEO

Update from Sudan, and the UK! – Wednesday 5th February

“My THREE little grandchildren. Toryn and Oscar and my new little granddaughter born today! Guess where I would like to be!  But it’s the Reception in a moment and I make a big speech to all the Great and the Good.  Our Patron The British Ambassador briefed us on security today and is hosting us at the Residence tonight – in his garden. It is beautiful weather here for me – cold for the Sudanese! Off to El Fasher for meetings with the new State Government friends from 9 years ago – and many many villagers. If only Robin could be with us.”
– Patricia Parker MBE, Kids for Kids Founder and CEO

 

Encouraging Meeting with the new Commissioner of the HAC Sudan – Tuesday 4th February

“We were delighted – but a little apprehensive – to be invited to a meeting by the new Commissioner of the Humanitarian Aid Commission in Khartoum. I need not have worried. HE Abbass Fadelallah already knew about our goat loans and of course Hatim, Alastair and I briefed him on all of our integrated projects. It was exciting, and so encouraging. They are registering new organisations to be run by local people and he would like our Project Implementation Manual in the hope, even if we cannot expand, that others will take up the mantle. For the first time HAC will also deliver humanitarian aid, especially to encourage people who have been displaced from their homes for so long, to return. As he said – they need exactly the sort of package of integrated projects that we provide – not least goat loans!
Tomorrow we travel to Darfur with his blessing.”
– Patricia Parker MBE, Kids for Kids Founder and CEO

 

Arrival in SudanMonday 3rd February

 
“As we set off for Sudan from London, still no visa for me from the Embassy but Khalid Mekki, a friend of long standing, assured us all would be well. Alastair and I flew via Addis Ababa then on to Khartoum. We realised I was at risk of deportation- but there at the airport we were whisked off to the VIP lounge and at last, after nine long years, I am back on the soil of Sudan with Khalid and our wonderful friend Hatim Abu Sineina to greet us. My passport had its visa.

We are staying with Hatim’s family as we have done for so many years in the past and for the first time for days I have slept somewhat better.
 
We are in Sudan at last and today I see Omer Shumeina who has been our Honorary Treasurer for all these years. Without him and Hatim safeguarding our funds, Kids for Kids could not have survived. So much has changed – and so much is the same. I feel as Sleeping Beauty must have felt when she awoke. Robin, who came with me for so many visits, is not here but there are friends awaiting us and soon we head to Darfur.
 
I have spoken to Salim and my plans for a workshop are going ahead. Villagers are filling in my Questionnaire already. But it will not be easy. Security is volatile and the Foreign Office advice is not to go to Darfur – even for essential travel.”
 
– Patricia Parker MBE, Kids for Kids Founder and CEO